DAK’ART 2014

11ème Biennale de l’Art Africain Contemporain 09/05>08/06

Nidhal Chamekh


De quoi rêvent les martyrs? (What martyrs dream of ?): serie of 6 drawings, ink, graphite and transfer, 40 x 60 cm each, 2012/2013, © Nidhal Chamekh.

The serie De quoi rêvent les martyrs ?, is a set of 18 drawings created during three periods, over the course of three years. The drawings showed here are the current states of this work. Combining various graphic techniques, they confront several visual registers, social and formal, ranging from expressiveness to scientific schemas.
Drawing is at the origins of art. It makes up the inconspicuous layer that hides beneath a painting, without ever disappearing, or behind a sculpture, a video, an installation, without ever falling into oblivion. For each and every artistic creation there is always a preliminary drawing. Thus we can say that a drawing is a beginning without ever being an end. And the beginning is exactly where Nidhal Chamekh wants to go with his drawing.
What goes through the mind of a human being so that he goes to adventure alongside death, to make a desired destiny? Like a journey for which we have already fantasized the ending, “We are beings to the end” (Martin Heidegger) left to death. Yet the destiny of a Man’s life carries down to an attempt to forget this obligation.
Against all reason, the martyr described in Nidhal’s drawing plans his meeting with death, he provokes it. That’s how these drawings come back to the beginning, the dream of a life that has become the dream of a death, to dissect it, to describe it, without ever understanding it or justifying it.

Born in 1985 in Dahmani, Tunisia, Nidhal Chamekh lives and works between Paris and Tunis. He is a visual artist and a painter. He studied in the Fine Arts school of Tunis and Paris and carries out his doctoral research at the Sorbonne. The popular districts of Tunis where he grew up and the persecution of his militant family will have a deep impact on his art. He began exhibiting his work at the age of 12, in Tunisia, and later in France and other European countries. His plastic research unfolds around the fragmented forms of reality and its possible languages. In his work, the figurative element remains clearly present but the subject is often blurry or almost absent.
His line, essentially fragmented, draws on all eras and confuses spaces and cultures. We could consider his work as a « sampler » of the chaos of history. It is about creating plans able to operate some « cross-sections » of the chaos, to constitute a kind of social and cultural archaeology to make perceptible the historical complexity of the images. It has to do with introducing the montage as a tool to see the social temporality and to collect in the same space the visual dislocation of the world.
His work has been exhibited at the National Centre for Linving Art (Tunis), El Abdellia Palace (Tunis), then later in France and other countries of Europe, in Talmart gallery, Carrousel du Louvre, the Arab World Institut, Gallery 34 (Paris), Primo Piano gallery (Lecce), Palexpo (Geneva).

View online : www.nidhal-chamekh.com